published Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Ariel Castro’s house to be demolished Wednesday

Ariel Castro listens in the courtroom during sentencing in Cleveland.
Ariel Castro listens in the courtroom during sentencing in Cleveland.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND — The nonprofit responsible for the scheduled Wednesday demolition of the Cleveland house where three women were imprisoned and raped for a decade plans to take additional precautions to ensure that passersby do not collect rubble that could later be sold online.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer on Tuesday reported that the Cuyahoga Land Bank expects to complete the demolition of Ariel Castro’s house in one day and shred all the building materials.

The land bank acquired Castro’s home on Seymour Avenue last week, and the house’s electricity was turned off on Monday after his family and friends removed personal items from it, including photographs and musical instruments.

A contractor is scheduled to tear down the home Wednesday morning. Plans for what will replace the house on the site haven’t been made public.

The land bank’s president, Gus Frangos, told the newspaper that the organization is trying to keep away scavengers who might try to sell the rubble as what is known as “murderabilia.”

The 53-year-old Castro was sentenced last week to life in prison plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to hundreds of charges related to the kidnapping and rapes of the women.

In 2011, a website that sells items related to high-profile crimes put on sale 1-gram packages of soil from the home of Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell before a city agency razed the house.

Sowell was convicted that year of killing 11 women and was sentenced to death. His case is under appeal.

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